Illinois scientists part of 'dark energy' project

September 4, 2013

The Associated Press

File: The Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Batavia, Ill.

URBANA, Ill. — Illinois researchers are collaborating with scientists across the globe in a new project aimed at studying the universe and dark energy.

The Dark Energy Survey involves at least 200 scientists, including some from the University of Illinois, the University of Chicago and Fermilab in suburban Chicago.

They're collecting data culled from photographs taken by a 570-megapixel camera that was built at Fermilab in Batavia. The camera is mounted above a telescope in the Andes Mountains in Chile.

Astronomers and physicists also hope to use the experiment to help explain the increasing rate of expansion in the universe.

Officials say the photos will eventually map out one-eighth of the sky in never-before-seen detail and show images of 300 million galaxies while also helping discover 4,000 new supernovae.